They were all gone. Or so the Free Peoples of Middle-earth thought. The Orcs…a great many of them had died, but others had survived by fleeing into deep, dark holes, never showing themselves, never daring to come out. There were still a fair number of trolls in the Mines of Moria, and about the Misty Mountains, though they were seldom and scarce, and no longer giant war-machines as Sauron created them to be so.
The Nazgul were thought to be dead. They were all too near what would have been “death” for them, without their master. They no longer resembled claoked spirits, but were merely wandering shadows about the defeated lands of Mordor. All was silent and still there, only the crumbled reminders of so passionate a battle that once raged between thundering strongholds were present in the land of shadow.
A Nazgul, one which might be called Number 8, traveled now among the ruins of Lugburz. Lugburz that was once so full of unhappy life and death.
He slowly skimmed across each and every piece of shattered or crumbled debris, ever searching, ever longing his Master.
Amidst the silence of the ruins of Lugburz, a clashing sound, very faint, could be heard among the wreckage of the fallen mighty tower where the Eye of Sauron once sat so tall and proud and searching. Sounding as if a heavy iron door were shut above a ceiling. Number 8 found its way several meters to the source of the noise.
Almost there……almost…closer. There! There, beneath what looked like it could have been an opening for a stone window was a soft red light. Number 8 glided closer and under the stone slab was a dim, red orb of some sort.
No……perhaps not an orb, but a sense of life. It stayed, hovering there for a minute or two before an almost-unintelligible voice spoke to Number 8.
“Take it,” it lulled, “embrace it.”
Number 8 glided over to the light and took it in, in to himself. An odd, long-lost sensation came over him and for the first time since he never remembered when, he felt fear. Slowly, he began to take form. He took the shape of a human and the next moment, life was pulsing through what now became his veins.
Number 8 was….! He couldn’t remember, but it was who he was before he was the eighth Nazgul.
“Find them,” the voice seared through Number 8.
“Yes, Master,” his human voice answered.
* * * * *
The spirit of Sauron gave Number 8 instructions to find a live human to corrupt and become one of the Wraiths. Number 8 was to take his human form and go under the name, Ender. This time however, there would be no rings of power involved in the corruption of another Nazgul.
And in the midst of everything, Number 8 couldn’t possibly adjust to living again.
He stood now by the deep, dark waters of Lake Nurnen and saw a face he never knew. That face is not, was never his. It was all too unfamiliar to him; just another mortal. The expression had little emotion, yet the eyes were frighteningly cold and burned as fierce as ever.
Number 8….Ender, looked awar from his human self and persued his path toward the nearest dwelling of Men.